Scraps: Movies Watched, Jan. 2020

Definitely dropped the ball in the last couple of months of last year. Going to try harder this year, hopefully. Here goes. Watched a lot of movies on the plane between Japan and New York, which accounts for all the randoms in the list. Hoping to carve out a more intentional time to see films this year.

Aruna dan Lidahnya

The tone of the film definitely surprised me. The cinematography felt a little too realistic and not as luscious as I want the premise to be. Takes a minute to warm up to the dynamic of the characters too. Generally an interesting watch. I loved “Babi Buta Who Wants to Fly” so much, it’s curious to see how Edwin is experimenting with genres, especially in a more commercial film.

Mildred Pierce (1945)

Never seen the original prior, as I have only seen the Todd Haynes version starring Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood. This version naturally had less of the romantic, glamorous Todd Haynes period effect – but still had the same terrifying impact. All the men felt much more viscerally intolerable in this one. Vera was also a more subtle but effective villain.

Detour (1945)

Watched this actually not that great film at Cinema Vera in Japan. The kind and patient lady who worked the box office were surprised that we were in attendance. The audience was primarily men, mostly older. What a funny film. Roger Ebert’s review of the film is amazing (which we read after.) Ann Savage as Vera was very  memorable and hilarious.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

What a crazy film. Michelle Pfeiffer delights as the villain. The costume design was lovely, both Pfeiffer’s and Jolie’s costumes were breathtaking. Surprisingly dark for an insane film. Still can’t get over how the last 20 minutes of the film went from massacre to happy ending so quickly.

Zombieland: Double Tap

Chill, entertaining but kind of whatever film. Zoey Deutch as Madison was a surprise and probably the best part of the film.

Aladdin

It was refreshing to see a big budget film starring primarily brown and black actors. Didn’t realize that Guy Ritchie made the adaptation. Buff Will Smith Genie is a bit creepy. The new songs felt really out of place. The parkour and the dancing were fabulous but doesn’t stop the odd pacing of the film. Everything felt like it was running on breakneck speed. Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) were so handsome, the entire film I was just wishing that they’d just make out. Ritchie’s staccato framerate technique at parts of the film felt really jarring.